How to drive change by focusing on exponential opportunity, not threats

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Among the insights that John Hagel shared in our recent conversation on The Virtual Excellence Show was how to frame change for leaders.

From his decades of experience he says that you must focus on opportunity. Emphasizing threats simply increases resistance to change.

What makes this easier today is that fundamental shifts in the economy mean that opportunity can be exponential, generating even more compelling reasons for positive action.

However to seize those opportunities companies need to fundamentally recreate themelves, their old configurations are not adequate, deep change is essential.

See the video for John’s insights on this, or see below for a full transcript of the video.
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Experiential technologies will be at the heart of the future of physical retail

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Despite the deep challenges of the last decade, now overlaid with the dramatic impact of the pandemic, physical retail absolutely has a future. Much of that future will be through integrating useful technologies into the in-store experience to compete with the purely online experience.

This morning a segment on the Sunrise national breakfast show on the future of retail, shown below, included some thoughts from me on this (around 0:55 and 2:30).
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Human-technology interfaces will drive our future: here are four innovative new wearables from Google Research

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One of my oldest and most central themes in my work as a futurist is interfaces. How humans can and will interact with technology will shape not just our future, but indeed who are.

We have only relatively recently begun to move beyond keyboard, mouse and screen interfaces to voice and a handful of early-adopter gesture controls.

The tech giants well understand the importance of providing the most compelling interface.
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Going beyond Zoom hell to avatar-based meetings in virtual spaces

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Since March many people feel they have been caught in a ‘Zoom hell‘ of back-to-back video calls throughout their waking hours.

While this would have seemed futuristic a few decades ago, it already feels deeply tired. We have all experienced the problems with engagement, attention, and effective collaboration on video-conferencing calls.

One of the most interesting directions for the next phase of virtual meetings is avatar-based meetings in augmented and virtual reality.

In this very interesting excerpt from my conversation with futurist and AR/VR expert Cathy Hackl on The Virtual Excellence Show, Cathy discusses the realities, potential, and pragmatics of avatar meetings, including a demonstration of one of the current offerings in the space, and her own experiences using the technology.
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Reinvention and the virtuous circle of learning by doing: the case of The Virtual Excellence Show

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For the last couple of months I have been selectively sharing conversations, tutorials, and highlight videos from The Virtual Excellence Show on this blog, but I haven’t written anything about the show itself. This is the story of the show and the most important things I’ve learned so far.

The last time I spoke in-person at a conference was in late February of this year, with in following weeks all my other engagements cancelled in rapid succession. It quickly became apparent that there would be no more physical events for the foreseeable future.

I do have other ventures but the majority of my revenue for the last couple of years has been as a professional speaker, so, as many others, I saw my current livelihood simply evaporating.
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Quick introduction to live-streaming software for keynote speakers and presenters

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The intent of The Virtual Excellence Show is to explore and share how to do things well in virtual space.

Professional speakers and business presenters now all need to learn how to be excellent at virtual presentations. Live-streaming software can be invaluable in doing high=quality presentations relatively easily.

In our first tutorial I provide a brief introduction to live-streaming software for keynote speakers, presenters, and executives, including:

  • What is live-streaming software?
  • The leading live-streaming software platforms
  • A quick user’s guide to the functionality of OBS, the leading live-streaming platform

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How technology is changing dating and remote relationships in pandemic times

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I was recently interviewed on the Studio 10 TV program about the future of dating and relationships. See the video below:


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Imagine… a global economy optimized around everyone’s unique ability to contribute

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Every one of the almost 8 billion people on this planet is unique.

And everyone can contribute to the world and humanity in a unique way. Most of us spend our lives trying to work out quite how.

The past of work has been one of using and paying for a tiny and specific portion of people’s capabilities.

The future of work should be one that is able to uncover, express, and reward everyone’s unique capabilities and their ability to contribute to society.
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Sharing my life story from a virtual perspective

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Last week on The Virtual Excellence Show our scheduled guest was not able to make it at short notice, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share my own life story and how it relates to the virtual.

For those are familiar with some of my work, the broader frame that I share in the show gives perspective on some of the other facets of my work over the years, much of which has related to the virtual, and how these pieces fit together.

To get the fuller picture watch the video, or if you prefer you can read a transcript below. And if being excellent at things virtual is of interest, please do subscribe to The Virtual Excellence Show on YouTube. 🙂
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The self-perpetuating social feedback loops in AI-based predictive policing could stop social evolution

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A group of well over 1000 academics and researchers calling themselves Coalition for Critical Technology has just published a public letter to academic publisher Springer urging them not to publish a forthcoming article.

The article claims to be able to predict if someone is a criminal based on a picture of their face, with “80 percent accuracy and with no racial bias.”

The extensive, well-referenced response letter titled Abolish the #TechToPrisonPipeline states, in part:
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